Georgia Department of Public Health Unveils Low THC Oil Registry

June 16, 2015

ATLANTA - Today, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) unveiled the “Low THC Oil Registry” required by HB 1, the “Haleigh's Hope Act.” The registry is a secure database of patients authorized to possess cannabinoid oil in Georgia. Patients and caregivers of patients who believe they may be eligible should consult with their physician about the possibility of obtaining a card allowing them to possess 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil.

“Today marks a milestone for the state of Georgia and the Department of Public Health,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., DPH commissioner and state health officer. “Implementing HB 1 has been no small task, but individuals suffering from conditions listed in the law now have another treatment option available to them. The secure cards we developed will ensure only those who are legally allowed to possess low THC oil for medical purposes will be able to do so, and we are confident the electronic registry we have created will serve doctors and their patients quickly and efficiently long into the future.” 

HB 1 allows individuals to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC (5 percent by weight) cannabinoid oil in the state of Georgia, provided they have obtained verification from a physician with whom they have an established relationship. Individuals seeking verification must have lived in Georgia for at least one calendar year, or be less than one year old, and be currently suffering from one of the following eight conditions:

  1. Cancer, when the disease has reached end stage, or the treatment produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea and vomiting;
  2. Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries;
  3. Severe or end stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease);
  4. Severe or end stage multiple sclerosis,
  5. Severe or end stage Parkinson's disease;
  6. Severe or end stage sickle cell disease;
  7. Crohn's disease; and
  8. Mitochondrial disease.

If a patient or a patient’s caregiver meets the criteria to possess low THC oil, their physician would then enter their information in DPH’s online Low THC Oil Registry. Once the information has been entered and reviewed by DPH, a card will be issued to the individual(s) who applied. Please allow 15 business days to receive a card.

“Low THC Oil Registry” cards will cost $25 each – the standard fee for obtaining a vital record in Georgia – and will be valid for two years from the date issued. After that time, cardholders will need to again consult with their physician about their continued eligibility and to request that they update and confirm their information into the registry.

The decision about whether or not a physician wishes to certify an eligible individual is left entirely to their discretion. The registration process has been established by Georgia law, and it does not violate any state or federal laws. Physicians also will not risk their medical license by registering patients.

HB 1 does not address how low THC oil is made, purchased or shipped. Neither DPH nor physicians will prescribe or dispense low THC oil. The new law also does not legalize the possession or sale of marijuana in plant form. 

The registry, as well as detailed information for the general public, physicians and law enforcement, will be maintained on the DPH website.